Visiting Al-Aqsa 'impermissible' through normalisation, Jerusalem Mufti declares
Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein deplored the normalisation pact between Israel and the UAE as a departure from the Arab and Islamic consensus. "It is not permissible to visit Al-Aqsa through normalisation processes or agreements," he asserted.
"When the Palestinian defends Jerusalem and its sanctities dignity of the nation, the Palestinian is defending the Arab and Islamic nation,” Hussein urged.
“Therefore, the Arab and Muslim nation must pay attention to such normalisation matters and reject any deviation from the Arab and Islamic consensus, with regard to the Palestinian issue in general, and Jerusalem and its sanctities in particular."
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He maintained the ban is not an infringement on any Muslim’s freedom of religion, saying: “We did not say that prayer is forbidden at Al-Aqsa, whoever enters prays, but we say: it is not permissible under any circumstances for any Muslim to come through normalisation processes to visit al-Aqsa Mosque."
The Middle East felt shockwaves, after Trump announced on Thursday that the UAE had normalised ties with Israel, only the third between the Jewish state and an Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan.
Palestinians of all political leanings – from the secular Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas to the Hamas Islamist – have been unanimous in their condemnation of the deal, viewing the UAE as sacrificing the Palestinian cause to gain commercial relations with Israel.
While the agreement supposedly delays Israel's plans to unilaterally annex large swathes of the West Bank and Jordan Valley, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly urged that annexation will only be delayed.
Regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia has been conspicuously silent on the deal with no official reaction emerging from Riyadh.